Chefs, apparently, couldn’t give less of a crap that you’re trying to read their menu while driving fifteen miles an hour over the speed limit in the general direction of their restaurant. So they build a branding, inspiring monstrosity that puts the menu in flash or some other beautifully useless format.
WTH? I’m guessing that three-quarters of visits to restaurants are on a mobile device. The reason Open Table is taking all of your reservations is because they are the only reasonable way to read your menu from a mobile device. I’m not visiting because I want to understand the look and feel of your restaurant. I’m there to see the menu and (assuming it isn’t too fru-fru) book a last minute reservation. Two basic needs. Now hit your favorite restaurant site and see how easy that is.
Note to chefs: the future is mobile. Time to start focusing on the mobile site and thinking of the desktop site as a secondary concern. Design for the iphone and make sure it works on a PC running IE. Done.
But make sure the food is good first. A good mobile site can’t fix that.